NOTAP Organises Capacity Building for Science Journalists
Over 70 science journalists attended the one day capacity building workshop for media practitioners on science and technology reporting organized by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) at the Rockview Hotel, Abuja.
In an opening address, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology Dr. (Mrs.) Dere Awosika represented by Prof. Bugaje said NOTAP has the mandate to strategically promote Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) through sensitizing stakeholders on the processes for technology identification, assessment, acquisition, adaptation, domestication and transfer.
Dr. Mrs. Awosika pointed out that the Nigerian public have been critical about the contributions of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to national development due to inadequate reportage of activities of the sector by the media.
She commended NOTAP management for organizing the workshop which she noted is an expedient institutional reform for the media adding that technology information has the capacity to impact on national development if properly and consistently communicated to the public.
Director General National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) Dr. Umar Buba Bindir said one of the many challenges in achieving national economic development is the low level of awareness on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). He revealed that a NOTAP survey revealed a very poor patent out-put from Nigerians partly due to low level of awareness by the average Nigerian on the street on the usefulness of patents and how to apply Science, Technology and Innovation to daily life.
Dr. Bindir added that NOTAP recognizes the great role the media plays in national development and since science and technology is the fulcrum of development in any nation, the media’s ability to comprehend and interpret scientific language effectively to the ordinary man will no doubt promote the culture of Science and Technology for national development.
The Director General pointed out that NOTAP organized a similar workshop in 2006 which helped strengthened the capacity of science journalists in reporting STI issues.
He commended the media especially those under the umbrella body Nigerian Association of Science Journalists (NASJ) for their unflinching support to the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and its parastatals especially NOTAP in disseminating the activities of this core development Ministry.
President African Federation of Science Journalists and Initiator of the African Science Technology and Innovation News Mr. Diran Onifade challenged science journalists to be committed to in-depth coverage of science and technology issues in order to communicate effectively with the public.
President, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Ms Asabe Baba commended NOTAP for the brilliant initiative to build the capacity of the media on science and technology reporting and suggested a similar training workshop for women journalists.
Papers on science and technology promotion, technology transfer, commercialization of R&D results, intellectual property rights and science communication were presented during the workshop.